As automobiles become increasingly “smart,” connected to the Internet, and synced with Bluetooth, GPS and automated locking, the need to protect drivers from cyber attacks to their vehicles is expected to increase as well, according to a recent report published by Research and Markets.

The connected car market is expected to hit $42 billion by 2018 with revenues expected to increase 400 percent between 2015-2020, according to GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. With the larger market size will come added demand for protection, as the global market from automobile cyber security is also expected to rise at an annual rate of 15 percent from 2015-2020.

The need to protect drivers from cyber attacks is paramount, as a compromised car can cause various features of the automobile to malfunction or completely shut down entirely. As this Wired article showed, such an attack can lead to dire consequences if not addressed. Continued testing has demonstrated even greater need for automobile cyber security, and the high-level research needed to fendoff malware, as well as the increased funding that comes with it, are expected to drive the increase in the auto cyber protection market.

Companies are already lining up to secure their share of the emerging market. BlackBerry announced plans this week to begin a consulting service in fields with growing cyber security concerns, including the automotive sector. General Motors, for their part, has already instituted a Chief Product Cyber Security Officer who oversees a staff of about 80 employees dedicated to preventing cyber attacks on their vehicles.

Also included in the Research and Markets report are market insights, a technology overview, the automobile cyber security market segmented by car and region, and key vendor analysis.

[ image courtesy of  mapichai / ]